NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


March 23, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

MONTGOMERY COUNTY MEDICAL CLINIC PLEADS GUILTY TO UNLICENSED PRACTICE OF MEDICINE

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Montgomery County medical facility, Optimum Care Medical Clinic, pleaded guilty to conspiring with two of its employees to allow and facilitate the unlicensed practice of medicine. Optimum Care conspired with Mr. Ahmad Alvi and Mr. Theodros Dagnew to allow Alvi and Dagnew to practice medicine at its facilities. Alvi and Dagnew were not licensed as physicians in Maryland. Optimum Care will repay the state nearly $100,000 for payments made to Optimum Care for the services provided by Alvi and Dagnew.

From January 1, 1995 through November 1, 1997, Optimum Care conspired with Alvi and Dagnew to allow them to treat patients, provide medical care, write prescriptions and otherwise practice medicine. This unlicensed practice by Alvi and Dagnew occurred most frequently when no other licensed physician was present on Optimum Careís premises.

Although Optimum Care was owned by a licensed physician, A. Stella Udeozor, M.D., Dr. Udeozorís husband, George Udeozor, was the office manager for Optimum Care during this period and was responsible for scheduling the personnel at each facility. To cover the times when his wife was not present, Mr. Udeozor hired and scheduled other licensed physicians to work at Optimum Careís locations and see patients. Alvi and Dagnew, however, regularly were scheduled and permitted to practice medicine on a regular basis without any doctor scheduled or designated to be present, leaving these unlicensed individuals alone to treat Optimum Careís patients.

"This crime was particularly dangerous because it jeopardized the safety of countless patients who were unknowingly being treated by unlicensed doctors," Attorney General Curran said.

The case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General's Office following a referral from Marylandís Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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